Millennials serve up all the trimmings this Christmas, Barclaycard reports

New research from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit transactions, reveals that millennial hosts (aged 18-34) are set to spend on average £268 each to host Christmas. This equates to £570 million across the whole of the UK – over 50% more than the £360 million expected to be spent by those their parents’ age (55 – 64).

It does not appear that the older generation will be too put out, however, with six in 10 festive revellers aged 45 to 64 preferring to pass the buck and be a Christmas guest this year.

Millennials spread festive cheer

Of the millennial hosts who expect to spend more this year, a quarter (25%) will do so to make Christmas an extra special event. This is no surprise, given a third (35%) agree that their guests have high expectations.

Far from seeing Christmas as simply an extended Sunday roast, this younger generation of hosts plans to spend on average £35 on decorations for the house, £31 on party favours, £29 on decorations for the table and £29 on crackers – all above the national average – to immerse their guests in a holiday experience to remember. Many millennial hosts (70%) will also fork out on festive extras such as Christmas games, films and music to keep their attendees entertained for the whole day.

Christmas item Millennials National Average
Decorations for the house £35 £21
Party Favours £31 £9
Decorations for the table £29 £13
Christmas Crackers £29 £14

In December last year, Brits spent 40% more in supermarkets compared to the rest of the year, according to Barclaycard data. When it comes to hosting the celebrations this year, however, millennials plan to up the ante, spending up to £153 million on food alone and a further £123 million on alcohol and soft drinks as they organise celebrations on the 25th.

Higher cost, higher contributions?

The cost of Christmas entertaining this year is only set to increase – whatever the age – with the new research revealing that over a third (34%) of hosts anticipate spending up to 13% more than they did last year. Nearly half (49%) say the bigger bill is due to rising food prices although three in ten (31%) will also be catering for ever-growing families and friends.

Despite this, it is not all doom and gloom; help for hosts may be on the way as 61% of Brits agree that guests should contribute to the celebration in some way. Over two-thirds (68%) of us would be willing to spend £28 on Christmas Day drinks and a further one in six (15%) would even be willing to contribute up to £40 towards the festive meal.

While hosting Christmas can be expensive, the most popular reasons to shy away from having people round include the stress of preparing turkey with all the trimmings, (29%) and simply finding enough space to fit in friends and family (29%).

With this in mind, it is no surprise that almost half of Brits who celebrate Christmas (49%) would consider eating out on Christmas Day – and would be willing to spend up to £45 per head dining at a restaurant – in order to avoid the washing up (64%) and the heat of the kitchen (63%).

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “Over the past 18 months we’ve seen a trend for consumers to splash out on experiences, or times that are memorable for everyone involved. It seems millennials have really taken this to heart, extending their spending habits to the holiday season.

“Not only are they prepared to provide food and drink, but also a beautiful tablescape, hours of entertainment and fun favours to create a cracker of a day. If you’re invited to a Christmas hosted by a millennial this year, be prepared for anything but a Silent Night.

Ella Canby, founder of hosting agency Sugarella Cooks, said: “While millennials are embracing the challenge of hosting Christmas Day, it seems many of us are still daunted by the thought of having friends and family round to ours. Expenses aside, the stress of hosting and simple logistics, such as having enough space for all the guests, are real considerations.

“A bit of clever thinking and advance planning, however, can take some of the heat out of the kitchen from asking your guests to provide pudding, to preparing parts of the meal in advance – and even delegating the washing up to your fellow revellers!”